apoc·​a·​lyp·​tic | \ ə-ˌpä-kə-ˈlip-tik How to pronounce apocalyptic (audio) \
variants: or less commonly apocalyptical \ -​ti-​kəl How to pronounce apocalyptical (audio) \

Definition of apocalyptic

1 : of, relating to, or resembling an apocalypse apocalyptic events
2 : forecasting the ultimate destiny of the world : prophetic apocalyptic warnings
3 : foreboding imminent disaster or final doom : terrible apocalyptic signs of the coming end-times
4 : wildly unrestrained : grandiose
5 : ultimately decisive : climactic an apocalyptic battle

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from apocalyptic

apocalyptically \ -​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce apocalyptically (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms for apocalyptic


climacteric, climactic

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of apocalyptic in a Sentence

No one listened to her apocalyptic predictions. a less apocalyptic view of the future the apocalyptic destruction of the world
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Your fave Riverdale stars look glam and tragic AF in the series of shots that show the two in high-fashion garb amongst some sort of post-apocalyptic situation. Alison Caporimo, Seventeen, "Cole Sprouse Reveals His First Kiss Happened In the Back of a Hearse," 29 July 2019 And just like that, Mad Mack’s Burger Co. (named after two of their nieces, not the post-apocalyptic Mel Gibson character) was born. Chuck Blount, ExpressNews.com, "52 Weeks of Burgers: Mad Mack’s Burger Co.," 26 July 2019 There was time travel, space travel, a post-apocalyptic Earth rescued via time and space travel, and blue aliens. Adam Rogers, WIRED, "So Long, You Weird, Space-Time-Defying Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," 19 July 2019 Plan your trip: Get into a Moscow Metro mood by reading Metro 2033, a post-apocalyptic novel by Russian author Dmitry A. Glukhovsky. Robert Chg, National Geographic, "See why the world’s best subway lines are destinations unto themselves," 19 July 2019 Elisabeth & Charlotte’s Dramatic Finger Touch Adult Charlotte and adult Elisabeth from post-apocalyptic 2053 see each other through the portal that opens up from the dark matter in the power plant in 2020. Abbey Maxbauer, refinery29.com, "Where The End Of Dark Season 2 Leaves Us," 30 June 2019 Her first White House Christmas decorations were downright apocalyptic, as Quartz and others noted. Heather Timmons, Quartz, "The rocky history of Melania Trump’s FLOTUS PR strategy," 25 June 2019 The film, Gupt explained, is set in a post-apocalyptic world where humans have gone extinct due to their misadventures. Sangeeta Tanwar, Quartz India, "A Mumbai-based startup may soon create India’s answer to The Simpsons," 25 June 2019 Collins set the Hunger Games books in a post-apocalyptic dystopia where young people must fight and kill each other, on live television. Hillel Italie, Dallas News, "'Hunger Games' prequel novel coming in 2020," 18 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'apocalyptic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of apocalyptic

1633, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for apocalyptic

borrowed from New Latin apocalypticus, derivative of apocalypsis apocalypse, by analogy with pairs such as ellīpsis ellipsis : ellīpticus elliptic

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about apocalyptic

Statistics for apocalyptic

Last Updated

24 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for apocalyptic

The first known use of apocalyptic was in 1633

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for apocalyptic



English Language Learners Definition of apocalyptic

: of, relating to, or involving terrible violence and destruction
: of or relating to the end of the world

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on apocalyptic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for apocalyptic

Spanish Central: Translation of apocalyptic

Nglish: Translation of apocalyptic for Spanish Speakers

Comments on apocalyptic

What made you want to look up apocalyptic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not constant or steady

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!